In mid-Advent 2019 I worshipped at a service where we sang Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, a marvelous carol from the 4 th century where the mystery of Incarnation and God’s coming justice are celebrated. By the Spirit’s power the close of the third verse struck me anew, as darkness clears away.
Before worship and, I confess, at a few moments as it began I had been focusing on some really sad national news I had heard driving to church. I couldn’t help but wonder about when that particular mess will clear up, clean up and just, in general, be ok. I wonder stuff like that a lot: about the church, about life in general and for the people I love. What struck me in the hymn was the fact that darkness clears; darkness, as we find it in the natural world, is not dispelled by turning on a light, but as a rule, gradually clears with the dawn or passing of a troubling cloud.
Just so in the Christian life: Christ came to be the Light of the World and with Christ’s birth a new dawn breaks upon us. But the coming of Christ does not dispel the world’s troubles; Christ’s coming does shine a new light on them. The Light of the World promises us that ultimately all things are resolved by Christ and that Christ who calls us to live in that Light will ratify our new way of living in the age to come
with the same grace, you see in Jesus.
So that’s our job: to be the light of the world between now and then. That’s why it is so crucial that we who are the church live like children of the Light. That’s why it’s so important that we who are the church act as light and do not walk into dark paths or invite others to do so. That’s why it is so crucial that we who are the Light of the World – on behalf of the One who is Light – live as children of the Light.
We walk with our eyes on the Light as the darkness clears.
Live in the Light. Darkness and pain are indeed passing away. Be the church: strong and confident in the Light, and, as the church, be filled with the grace of the Light, be filled with Jesus.
In the name of the Light who banishes the troubles of the world!
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HELLO FROM HARVEY – DARKNESS CLEARING
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